Why You Should Earn a Degree While on Active Duty


Why You Should Earn a Degree While on Active Duty

Being an active-duty member of the military comes with certain perks that you’ll want to take advantage of while you can. If you’re enlisted in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, you’re entitled to tuition assistance from your branch. Information on how each of the individual military services sets tuition assistance rates can be found at the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) website, but it’s typically a substantial amount and well worth using while you’re on active duty.

But I have military experience. Why do I need a college degree?

Some who enlist in the military serve for their entire careers; however, the majority of service members transition to civilian life, where a college degree can strongly benefit their chances for success in the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consistently shows that education is a wise investment regardless of background and experience. Data compiled of workers aged 25+ proves that the more you learn, the more you earn. In fact, bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of $26,104 more per year than high school diploma holders. 

And while it’s true that military training can prepare you for many useful roles, college coursework can expand your horizons in other areas, particularly those applicable to commercial markets and industries. Many colleges have career services and curricula that offer internships, hands-on projects and other integrated job prep programs that give you a head-start on your career path. Even if you plan to stay in the armed forces, earning a degree can be an advantage as you move up the ranks. Commissioned officers are typically required to have a four-year college degree in addition to good leadership, communication, conflict resolution, time management and other soft skills that can be fine-tuned in college. In general, earning a degree can help you expand your future opportunities within the military or upon entering the civilian workforce.

College can also be helpful for many service members who struggle to make the shift from military to civilian life. By earning a degree, the transition becomes much smoother. You’ll make connections and stay tapped into the world outside of military service. And with a degree, you’ll have more desirable and even exciting job opportunities available once you’re ready to join civilian life. Military service is already a bonus for most job applicants, but many will find that the best positions require a college degree. Job applicants with both a college degree and military experience place themselves above the pack of candidates who have just one or the other. By combining a degree with military experience, you can greatly increase your chances of finding gainful employment and exciting opportunities in your preferred role and career path.

By taking advantage of your military tuition assistance benefits, you’ll be working toward a better, smarter you. Earning a degree not only serves as a bridge between your military and civilian life but can also help you develop lasting connections, deeper insights and marketable knowledge that you may not gain elsewhere. Whether you’re interested in learning about the business side of commerce, entrepreneurship, management, marketing, finance, budgeting and economics or something more technical, college is a great place for you to explore, learn and grow in areas that you want to develop. You’ll have a greater ability to discover your interests, become more independent, invest in yourself and choose your own path – rather than have it chosen for you.

How do I get started?

At Pearson Accelerated Pathways, we love to help our military members succeed. That’s why we offer a 10% discount on tuition for active-duty military. We’ve helped thousands of service members find the flexibility they need to attend college – no matter where they’re based.

Our courses are self-paced to work with your active-duty schedule. We coach you the whole way through, starting with a personalized College Options Report that shows you how much we can save you in addition to your military tuition assistance. All you need is a laptop and internet connection. Get started today!


We think college can be affordable, flexible, and purposeful. And we're here to show you how.